Sunday, May 29, 2016

PA stresses ground rules on LNMB interment

From the Philippine News Agency (May 29): PA stresses ground rules on LNMB interment

The Philippine Army (PA) on Sunday gave the ground rules on who can be interred at the 103-square hectare Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (LNMB) in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

PA spokesperson Col. Benjamin Hao said the LNMB serves as a tribute and resting place, not just for Filipino soldiers and war veterans, but also for citizens who are considered heroes and martyrs.

LNMB is also a home to deceased presidents, dignitaries, national artists, scientists, boy scouts, and military chief-of-staffs.

Under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Regulation, remains of the following deceased persons are qualified, and therefore authorized, to be interred at the LNMB:

a.) Medal of Valor Awardees;

b.) Presidents or Commander-in-Chief, AFP;

c.) Secretaries of National Defense;

d.) AFP Chiefs of Staff;

e.) Generals/Flag Officers of the AFP;

f.) active and retired military personnel of the AFP, to include active draftees and trainees who died in line of duty, and active reservists and CAFGU Active Auxiliary (CAA) who died in combat operations or combat-related activities;

g.) former members of the AFP who laterally entered or joined the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP);

h.) Veterans of Philippine Revolution of 1890, World War I, World War II, and recognized guerillas;

i.) government dignitaries, statesmen, national artist and other deceased persons whose interment and re-interment has been approved by the Commander-in-Chief, Congress or the Secretary of National Defense, and

j.) former Presidents, Secretaries of Defense, dignitaries, statesmen, national artists, widows of former Presidents, Secretaries of National Defense and Chief of Staff.

Hao said the same AFP regulation also prescribes who are not qualified to be interred in LNMB.

They are personnel who were dishonorably separated, reverted, discharged from the service; and personnel who were convicted by final judgment of an offense involving moral turpitude.

At present, the allocated number of grave sites or plots for the Presidents or Commander-in-Chief is 46; 94 plots for Secretaries of National Defense, government dignitaries and statesmen; 133 for the AFP Chiefs of Staff; 118 for Medal for Valor awardees; 183 for other generals and flag officers; 5,334 for World War II veterans; and 1,375 for national artists/scientists. The rest of the grave sites are allocated for the active, retired AFP personnel and veterans.

Currently, there are more or less 49,000 buried in the 103-hectare cemetery.

The Standing Operating Procedure (SOP) Number 04 of the Philippine Army enumerates the guidelines and procedures on the arrangement and conduct of funeral services for deceased Filipino war veterans, Philippine Army retirees, reserve officers in active and inactive status and reservists who are under Call-to-Active Duty (CAD) status.

The following govern the composition of funeral escorts to be given to those who will be buried in LNMB (local commanders may vary the composition as maybe appropriate to suit local situations):

1) One squad for enlisted personnel with the ranks of Private to Sergeant;

2) One section for enlisted personnel with the ranks of Staff Sergeant to Master Sergeant;

3) One platoon to officers with the ranks of Lieutenant to Captain;

4) One company of two platoons for Major to one-star rank of general/flag Officer;

5) One battalion of two companies for two-star rank of general/flag officer to general (four-star); and civilian VIPs entitled to a gun salute from 13 to 19 guns;

6) Brigade-size unit of two battalions for President, Ex-President, SND, USND, CSAFP, or as prescribed by the President, Senate President, Speaker of the House, SND, or Supreme Court Justices;

The LNMB is a property of the AFP. The PA is the unit tasked to manage the operations and maintenance of the said military facility.

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